OK, three more quilting classes to go. Everyone’s quilt is coming together nicely.
Ack! The week is getting away from me. Moira, Lauren and Grace came by for dinner on Sunday. Katherine bought this cake from Whole Foods: a tarte tropezienne. I could only think of the British Baking show when I saw this cake. It’s an odd cake/bread tasty treat.
Grace drew a picture of Max for us. Max did great all thanksgiving weekend! I usually crate her up for all large parties because I think she sniffs people’s crotches too much and she begs too much, but this time, I let her attend all the parties and all the guests fawned over her and she only got a little bit of turkey! (I did crate her up for 60 minutes or so when a particular person I know was there who really is scared of Max, but otherwise, Max roamed around all day/evening.)
To reassert dominance after many days with many different guests in/out/above/below/into/out of his beloved kitchen (everyone is very kind and helps out in the kitchen cleaning up and putting away, but they generally put away in odd places leaving Jeremy a little bit off kilter when he returns and tries to cook again), Jeremy inexplicably started decluttering the kitchen on Sunday morning.
And to bring the week up to now, Vince played dodge ball at scouts last night and I (oddly) hung out to watch and chatted with a bunch of people who I often dodge (ha ha). I don’t really dodge them, I’m just usually running back/forth to various activities and don’t stay long in places.
Cindy & family were suppose to arrive at noon on Friday. Jeremy went out for a ride early that morning and came back at ten and then shooed me out of the house to go to the gym then – I was reluctant to leave because I was feeling both lazy in terms of getting a workout in and also because I thought he needed help pulling together the brunch. But he assured me that everything would be taken care of at home. So I came home at 11:45 am and the house was super quiet as if no one was home (well Adriana & Edda were home, but they were both screen-timing (very quietly)). No one was cooking. I asked Adriana where Jeremy was and she said, uhhh, upstairs? in the garage? I was like – we have guests coming in 15 minutes, I thought we’d have an egg frittata 80% complete. Turns out Jeremy had to go out with his parents and run some errands and came rushing home at 11:50 and said that Cindy texted they would be 30 min late and then we threw together an egg/potato frittata. Just in time.
Donald left early this morning (Sunday).
On Saturday, Jeremy was out riding. Emy & Seth headed back to NY, Bihan, Kiki and Kappa went into DC. So I took the Lees out to a late lunch (after Donald went to Tyson’s in the am to help David (my parents’ friend from China) buy a Louis Vuitton bag for a friend. $1500. Crazy. Furiously texting back and forth to China, for a moment, David’s friend wanted two (!) of the same bag and the saleslady apologized and said there were only 16 of those bags in the US and that there might be another one in Baltimore. Crazy part 2.) We went to A&Js for beef noodle soup. I spent Saturday afternoon with Donald – we might have had plans – but we mainly napped on the couches in the living room.
Happy day after thanksgiving! We had 44 people over for dinner and managed to get 43 of them in this photo. Jeremy made the turkey and everyone else contributed the sides, we did not vastly overestimate the food as we often do. There is enough turkey and cranberry sauce for a few turkey sandwiches, but nothing as in some prior years where we might have had a whole extra turkey. We had a few people who had never been to an American Thanksgiving, I think we showed them a good one.
Bob, Bihan and I started the day at Freedom Plaza at a 5K. It was a cold morning, it took the first mile to just unfreeze my toes.
I ran 25:13, which is a personal best for me. I have good luck with Turkey Trots. The course was flat which is nice and I think juuust a little short, which is nice too. 8:21 / 8:17 / 8:02 / 6:57 were my splits, just they way I like them.
I came home to the beginnings of dinner. My mother came over with my brother and took a nap on the couch.
She’s in charge of the eggroll appetizer.
The food line:
Seating arrangements with rented tables / chairs & plates.
The kids (who amazingly aren’t so little anymore) found Cards Against Humanity which was hilarious (apparently) & they went to the traditional after dinner movie – Coco (which everyone loved).
Today is my mother’s 76th birthday (I mean her 29th birthday.) We started the day off with a 90 minute yoga class where we learned how to ease into a backbend. The instructor came over to us and introduced herself to us before the class started and told us that she was planning on working into backbend poses and told us that these poses can release emotion as you press your heart kind of up and out of your chest. Maybe that is true? Did I feel extra emotional as I went through the class? Maybe! Donald worked in the afternoon. I took the afternoon off of work to nap and try to sleep off my cold & fortify myself for the next few days. Although I love hosting Thanksgiving and having a full house, I do know that it takes me extra energy to sustain a higher level of socializing than I am usually used to. I like to go into it feeling strong and not worn out from our regular schedule.
At night, we drove into DC to a restaurant called Fig & Olive. I picked this restaurant mainly because I entered the right number of guests and the night and time I wanted into OpenTable and this was what I thought was an appropriate level of fanciness. But I never really know if the restaurant will be a hit with my family (we have had duds) because I like to try different restaurants each time and I can’t suss out the vibe of the place no matter how many yelp reviews I read. Because of circumstances, I had to drive me and Vince into DC which is a hard thing for me to do – Google maps took me all over on strange roads because I was driving during rush hour – I get nervous driving places I’m not familiar with (and Vince can be no help – he sometimes teases me about this hangup while I’m driving which really amplifies my anxiety. But sometimes he puts everything down (meaning his phone) and says – you can do this, mom! – which is helpful as I’m entering Dupont Circle (which is much easier to navigate on foot than in a car)).
My father kept making slightly weird comments about how I looked, but I think that, finally, this was the night where I was a little dressed up and I looked a lot like my younger mother. I can understand this – if I close my eyes, I can’t really remember what Jeremy looked like when we first met. Sometimes going backwards on the blog can help, but I can only see Jeremy as he is now.
It was a lovely evening, the restaurant was perfect – not too loud, pretty fancy & relaxed but attentive service. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s in this part of town with the Louis Vuitton store, the Dior store, the Hermes store all within a block of each other. Not something I look for in a restaurant myself, but can be important to my parents. My mother was pleased which make me happy.
I did show my
assertiveness (a trait I know I have, but I try to bury it deep and pretend I’m not bossy at all. Also, I know I’m not suppose to use the word “bossy” to describe myself because it’s generally used only for women and I’m suppose to use adjectives that are more ambi-gender. I should say I was assertive. (I just looked up the prefix ambi- and it only means two. I need more than two genders now, gah.). I was one of the last ones to arrive & I made everyone get up and switch seats because I wanted to be closer to my mother and I wanted the conversation to flow in a certain way. Initially, my mother was seated at the head of the table which is the status location, but I wanted her mid-table so more people could talk to her. I also wanted to split this whole fish with her.
Happy birthday, mom!
Outside the Louis Vuitton store.
Seth & Emy arrived while we were at dinner. Max freaked out and barked her head off as they entered without us with them. We got them settled into Edda’s room and moved Edda into our room for the weekend.
Donald is here! And he spent the day working right next to me. I do wish he lived closer to us, it’s a lot of fun having him here. I get a co-worker. Jeremy gets a person to talk about bikes with as much as possible. I moved my sewing table into our room at the beginning of the day and Donald warned me that he was going to be on the phone all day and he was! Like 7 conference calls, one right after the other. I’ve never seen my brother work in this way, maybe I can see him in a new light?
Today’s adventures took me to Georgetown Cupcakes in Bethesda. My parents wanted the cupcakes for a friend of theirs and mentioned this last night at dinner. I told them they didn’t have to drive all the way to Georgetown, rather there was a store close by in Bethesda. But my Dad didn’t want to pay for parking, and then kind of looked at us for cupcake delivery. I’m like – Dad! You are the one without the job, all of us are working tomorrow! But what the hell, of course, he still wanted the cupcakes and didn’t want to pay for parking, so I went there in the morning to pick up a dozen of them (where I did pay for parking myself. These cupcakes are a lot of trouble.)
My parents and their friend, David, came by for dinner tonight. It was taco Tuesday, but on a Monday instead.
Vince kept trying to be done with dinner so we could quickly move onto the cupcakes, but we made him wait for the last ones to finish their dinner (Edda & surprisingly, my father). No photo of the cupcakes, they were gone quickly.
I want to write this down before I more time passes. I’m sick (you know I’m really sick when I begrudgingly follow Jeremy’s stern suggestion without much protesting that I take Motrin instead of suffering and moaning because I know he is right and I need to feel good to fix a leaky toilet tout suite!) and Jeremy is stressed about work and we have 40 people coming for Thanksgiving and we are behind. Because we are not our best selves right now, every decision is fraught with an edge of argument. Should we go to dinner early or after our other obligation? Should we order the green one or the yellow one? How should we accommodate our overnight guests? What exactly is sexual harassment?
Friday, I went downtown to see Tony, Tash & Sara. I had a minute to duck into West Elm, a catalog I have long received, but I have never stepped into a store. I can honestly say – I want nothing in this store – it is all beautiful, but I desire none of it.
We met at Ted’s Bulletin on 14th street.
Baby Sara is a cutie-pie!
Friday night, my parents and our neighbor Sophie went to see Vince’s The Little Mermaid. It was beautifully done, the costumes were amazing – Vince told me they rented them from someplace. Vince gave Sophie a tour of the control booth during intermission. The next night was closing night and Vince went to the afterparty. He called me in my Mortin stupor at 9 pm Sat night as I was settling into bed – hey mom, we are going to the afterparty and staying until midnight. Can you pick us up then…..? Or we could take a Lyft….? Yes love, I answer, please take a Lyft . Then Vince says – feel better soon mom! Then I realize that this is the first party he’s going to that is large and at some random person’s house (where? I dunno, he answers, wait! North Potomac somewhere) and I yell into the phone to try and catch him before he hangs up – make good choices! use good judgement! I didn’t get to yell – consent! consent! which I would have if I had had more of my wits about me. (Ack. Then I go to sleep.)
I spent all of yesterday slightly sick and getting sicker while fixing the toilet in the basement. Bryan mentioned on Thursday that the toilet was leaking and he was game to help replace the wax ring – so we made a date on Saturday morning. As soon as we lifted the toilet off, I knew it was going to be longer than the standard wax ring replacement hour-long repair. The toilet flange was installed too high, about 1/2 inch higher than it should be and, as a result, the wax ring got smooshed too much resulting in the leaking and I knew it would leak soon again if I just replaced the ring and put it back into place. They (the previous toilet installer (presumably the builder)) tried to shim the toilet into place, but 1/2 inch is a lot of shimming.
We basically had to raise the floor a half inch to meet the bottom of the toilet. This involved a total of three trips to home depot, 2 wax rings (I always need 2 because I always screw up the first one) & a purchase of a jig saw.
We made a template for the base for a new toilet-shaped subfloor. This was when I started sleeping on the couch kind of moaning and getting really sick. This was when Jeremy told me gently, but with no nonsense tone, to take a Motrin and keep on keeping on fixing the toilet, for though these photos show Jeremy at home depot and cutting out the template, toilet fixing is in my wheelhouse and not his and we could not leave the downstairs tenants without a working toilet for longer than absolutely necessary. I started the toilet project at 9 am and I finished less than 12 hours later at almost 9 pm.
In the mid-day, we went to celebrate Nat & Dara’s new house! I’m so happy for them :).
Loves, I’m grumpy. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s Thursday? I’m enjoying cooking these days which is odd because I think I’m a person who doesn’t like to cook. Who am I? I dunno.
I spent some time today sanding the table in our garage.
We’ve had some issues with procurement. Jeremy has done a bunch of youtube research and wanted to find some water-based paints and wanted all the layers – the wood conditioner, the stain & then finally the clear protective coat. The protective coat we already had from the previous project, but I had to go to Sherwin Willams for the stain and then amazon has to ship us the wood conditioner. Thanksgiving is still quite possible, but it’ll be cutting it close. It needs about 2-3 more sanding rounds, then 4-5 painting/drying/sanding rounds.
Monday night dinner. Jeremy came home early-ish and therefore we had a great Asian dinner with some ingredients I got at the Asian market in the afternoon.
We are sitting at a tiny table bumping elbows because we decided that our table was ready for refinishing – deadline of Thanksgiving. Jeremy took the finish off last night.
While Jeremy was sanding, I drove to Virginia to bring Marta a wheel for her (well, technically not hers, but Caroline’s) broken wheelchair. You know how good a wheelchair is without a wheel? Not very. We’ve been in situations where Edda’s wheelchair has broken and has taken a million years to fix, so I’m glad I had a spare wheel to bring to her. I got to kiss a sleeping Caroline before I headed right back to MD.
Six month follow up with the ortho surgeon today. Everything looks pretty good, next check up in 6 months. Will followup in Jan with another doc about her feet and what to do about the bracing.
Vince is planning on going to go to Shanghai over spring break with a school sponsored trip. The school has formed a partnership with a high school in Shanghai – their kids are coming here in January and our kids are going there in March. You won’t really believe this, but we went to the meeting tonight and it turns out that the sister school in Shanghai is my mom’s old high school. It’s a little surreal that Vince will spend time in my mom’s old hometown. Granted, the island has really developed into an eco/tech oasis and the high school building is brand new and super fancy, but it’s a crazy coincidence. And my parents will be in China at the same time, now that should be interesting.
OMG, but the principal spoke for so long. The meeting lasted 1.75 hours to 1) get our name on an email list, 2) find out the cost of the program and 3) see what the general itinerary looked like.